Mount Aloysius College

Mount Aloysius Students Institute “Change for Change”

CRESSON, Pa. – Sometimes just hearing a story can bring about a change and move people to action.  Recently some Mount Aloysius College students, hearing the story of a classmate whose family takes in foster children, were moved to make life a bit easier for similar local families.  The class, technically known as Connections - Section 36, is taught by Ms. Christine Koren, MBA.  “Hearing the story of one of our students who lives inside a foster family, her classmates wanted to help more foster families in our area,” she said. “They created “Change for Change,” raising money and collecting toys then donating them to Professional Family Care Services.  I’m really proud of them.”

Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley appreciates both the actions of the Mountie freshman and the story behind their motivation.  “Just two months into this academic year, it’s great to see freshmen grasping the ethos of the College,” he said.  “We frequently cite the `Mount Aloysius story’ to visitors, staff, students and even prospective students and their families.  In general terms, the Mount Aloysius story is about identifying a need, making a commitment, and then stepping forward to fill that need—be it personal, familial, regional or global.  I extend my congratulations to the students and faculty for reaching out and helping others.  Especially this time of year, we see this self-less impulse at work all over campus in so many ways.”

At Mount Aloysius College, the freshman Connections seminar is aimed focusing first year students on participating in the College’s community of thinkers and learners.  According to Dr. Michael Jones, coordinator of the Connections Seminars on campus, “The Mount Aloysius College Connections Seminar for freshmen delves into academic expectations, resources, values, and the 161-year old traditions of Mount Aloysius College.  Students are challenged,” added Dr. Jones, “to continue developing and recognizing their intellectual potential, understand their academic and moral responsibilities, and examine their rights and responsibilities as local, regional and global citizens.”

During the past two years over 25,000 hours of community service has been forthcoming from Mount Aloysius College students, faculty and staff. These efforts translate to over a half million dollars in value to the communities, not-for-profits and agencies helped by the College.  Each of the 100 student clubs on campus has a service component built right into their chapters, and this Mount Aloysius College “Connections” seminar, attended by all freshmen, instills the need and the expectation that MAC students give back to their communities.

Professional Family Care Services, headquartered in Johnstown, Pa., is a non-profit agency focused on child welfare services. They manage foster parenting and assist in adoption for children of all ages.     The agency also provides special needs support, called early Intervention, for little ones from birth through age three and operates this area's Early Head Start program.

Anyone wishing to contribute to “Change for Change” should contact the College at (814) 886-4131.



Mount Aloysius Incoming Students Help Haiti

CRESSON, Pa. – The incoming class at Mount Aloysius College is likely the largest ever.  These students–who hail from 18 states, five foreign countries and three continents –also arrived with big hearts ready to help those in need.  Prior to arriving on the Cresson campus, the incoming Mount Aloysius College students collected an array of items destined to help needy Haitian children.  The students gathered needed items like underwear and socks for both boys and girls, hair ties and other toiletries for young girls, and lots of toys like balls, kites, and other small fun gifts for the children.   As the students arrived for Move-in Day their collected gifts were stacked at a receiving station in Cosgrave Hall.  This week the first shipment was loaded up and sent over to Sister Martha of the Carmelite Community of the Word in Loretto, Pa.  Once again, Sister Martha is assembling a tractor-trailer filled with items bound for Haiti later this fall.  During Orientation, MAC students attended “Leadership Through Service.”   Incoming Mount Aloysius students also worked on service projects for area school children, US service veterans, and the elderly.  Last year Mount Aloysius College students, faculty and staff and donated nearly 12,000 hours of service to various community projects, locally, regionally and internationally.

Shown here, from left, are: Elaine Grant, director of student activities at Mount Aloysius College; Caitlyn Spetzer, a nursing student from State College, Pa.; Claire Kirsch, a psychology major from Clymer, Pa., Chelsea Snelick, a Mount Aloysius nursing student from Brockway, Pa.; Chandler Rhoades, events and marketing specialist for Mount Aloysius; and Harold Ingram, a business major from Philadelphia, Pa.


Anonymous $500,000 Gift to Mount Aloysius Will Memorialize Mercy Sister

CRESSON, Pa. – An anonymous benefactor with a long memory and a generous heart has donated $500,000 toward the renovation and re-purposing of the Mount Aloysius College’s former gymnasium–the Health and Fitness Center.   Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley noted that, other than a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, this anonymous gift is the largest in the College’s current capital campaign.

“Everyone associated with Mount Aloysius College is extremely grateful for this gift,” said President Foley.  “The donor has directed us to memorialize the work of Sister Virginia “Ginny” Bertschi, RSM who worked shoulder-to-shoulder with then College President Sr. Mary Ann Dillon, RSM as her Administrative Senior Vice President.  Together with the College’s Board, they engineered the formulation and execution of a transformational Campus Master Plan.  The recent completion of the Athletic Convocation and Wellness Center marks the culmination of that Plan.”

President Foley noted that the scope of achievement by the Sisters Bertschi-Dillon team is remarkable and made an historic impact on the beautification of the 193-acre campus.  “Sister Ginny Bertschi with Sister Mary Ann Dillon oversaw the construction of two modern dormitories– McAuley Hall and Misciagna Residence– a 40 percent expansion of Cosgrave Center, the complete remodeling of the Nursing wing, the general beautification of the grounds–including the brick-framed entrance to the College, the funding of the brick walkways, and so many other improvements which protect the many architectural highlights of Old Main while integrating the modern campus that is Mount Aloysius College today.”

President Foley noted that Sister Virginia Bertschi was a remarkable administrative leader.  “By all accounts, Sister Ginny was smart, resilient and a tireless asset to Mount Aloysius College.  She embodied dynamic commonsense, and was a model of creative stewardship as, together with Sister Mary Ann Dillon and the rest of the College’s Board of Trustees, they sought new ways to advance the College.  It is the wish of this generous donor,” he said, “to memorialize her contributions to the College and to the community by naming this great student space, `The Sister Virginia Bertschi Center.’”

The Sister Virginia Bertschi Center occupies central space within the beautiful 193-acre Mount Aloysius College campus.  The building sits just off the central red-brick walking mall which connects the iconic Main Building westward toward the Library–adding access to Cosgrave Center and paths to two residence halls—Ihmsen and Misciagna along the way.

Plans for repurposing the multi-purpose facility call for student-centered spaces where commuter and residential students can relax, socialize, study, conduct meetings, enjoy games and manage the business of over 100 student clubs, teams and organizations on campus.  Kitchen facilities will allow students to enjoy snacks and will also give the College an additional venue for its growing roster of special events.

Anyone seeking additional information regarding support to Mount Aloysius College should contact Mrs. Jennifer Dubuque, vice president for institutional advancement at Mount Aloysius College.  She can be reached at (814) 886-6331 or by email at


Mount Aloysius College Recognizes Four Mercy Spirit Awardees

CRESSON, Pa. – At the recently held Academic Awards Evening at Mount Aloysius College, four graduates earned the first ever Mercy Spirit Awards.  These new Mount Aloysius College awards recognize the woman and man who best exemplify the Mount Aloysius traditions and spirit in both associate degree and bachelor degree graduating classes.  Faculty and staff nominate those students whose active involvement in the life of Mount Aloysius College reflects leadership, community awareness and service, academic integrity and focus, and the personal integration of the Mercy values of justice, hospitality, mercy and service.

Standing from left are: Sr. Helen Marie Burns, RSM, vice president of mission integration; Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley; Brad Mikitko, Bachelor of Science, Medical Imaging/Radiology grad from Hastings, Pa.; Chelsey Pongrac, an Associate of Science, Physical Therapy Assistant graduate from Stoystown, Pa.; Danielle McKnight, a Bachelor of Science in Business/Accounting graduate from Reedsville, Pa.; and Derek Matthews, Associate of Science in Nursing graduate from Glasgow, Pa.


Mount Hosts Former Irish Ambassador to Ukraine James A. Sharkey

CRESSON, Pa. – The Mount Aloysius College 2013-2014 Speaker Series will feature Irish historian, writer and diplomat James Anthony Sharkey as speaker and visiting scholar.  Ambassador Sharkey’s visit to Mount Aloysius is part of the College’s year-long speaker series addressing the theme, “21st Century Citizenship: The Common Good.”  He will spend nearly a month at the College meeting with faculty and students and lecturing on such diverse topics as literature and the environment, Irish Dramatist and Author Brian Friel, and social violence as disease.  


Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley stated that the occasion of Ambassador James A. Sharkey’s visit to Mount Aloysius College is also an invitation to the public to come and enjoy his talks.  “Jim Sharkey is as excited to visit the southern Alleghenies and Mount Aloysius College as we are to have him here.  He is a vastly experienced diplomat having served on four continents, an author and an educator with much to share.  His visit – with events continuing to unfold in Ukraine and elsewhere – is very timely.  He served as his country’s first Ambassador to Russia and to several affiliated nations.  His perspective on that part of the world and other topics will be unique and very informative.”    

The public is invited to two events during Ambassador Sharkey’s visit.  A community lecture will be held on Tuesday, April 29th at 6:00 p.m. in the Wolf-Kuhn Gallery entitled, “Crisis in the Ukraine.”  Then on Thursday, May 1st at 3:30 p.m. in historic Alumni Hall, Mr. Sharkey will deliver the Mount Aloysius College 2014 Spring Honors Lecture. 

Ambassador Sharkey will also discuss Irish Poet Laureate and his longtime friend, the late Seamus Heaney during a recorded interview with Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley.  Other topics addressed during his time as Visiting Scholar will include, the crisis in Ukraine, religious conflict, and the Irish peace process in Northern Ireland.

James A. Sharkey shared a homeland and an education with the late Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney.  Both were educated at St. Columbs.  Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume was another St. Columbs graduate.  Entry to the school was made possible after the Education Act, 1947 opened educational opportunities for the Irish regardless of income.  Noted playwright  Brian Friel was also a St. Columb’s graduate.

James A. Sharkey, born in Derry, Northern Ireland, is an Irish historian, writer and diplomat.  He recently served as Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, and chaired the Council’s Human Rights Committee.  He has served as Irish Ambassador to a number of countries including Australia, Japan, Denmark, Russia, and Switzerland.  Ambassador Sharkey also served as a delegate to the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (the Helsinki Conference). These first face-to-face talks between Western European nations and nations of the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact are credited as the first step in the long process of ending the Cold War.

As Ireland’s Charge d’Affaires in Moscow, Mr. Sharkey was Ireland’s first-ever official representative to Russia.  He served concurrently in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.  As ambassador to Denmark, he held concurrent accreditation to Norway and Iceland, and his duties as ambassador to Switzerland included concurrent service to Liechtenstein and Algeria.

During his service as political counselor in the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C., Mr. Sharkey was instrumental in building U.S. congressional support for the efforts of Northern Ireland political leader and Nobel Peace laureate John Hume and others to find a peaceful resolution to the three decades of sectarian strife known as the Troubles.  Working closely with Speaker Tip O’Neil and other congressional leaders, Mr. Sharkey helped shift the consensus among America’s political leadership toward active support of a negotiated settlement to the Northern Ireland crisis.  These efforts eventually led to the 1998 peace accord known as the Good Friday Agreement.  Its provisions for political power sharing and economic development have given birth to a new era of peace and stability to Northern Ireland.

Ambassador Sharkey earned degrees in Russian and Russian history from University College Dublin and Birmingham University.  He began his career as a teacher in Stepney, Derry and Dublin. He is the author of works on Scots Gaelic, the folk history of Inishowen, the Russian peasantry, and the writer Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, known also by the Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo.  He joined the Irish Diplomatic Service in 1970.

Ambassador Sharkey and his wife, Sattie, have three children and make their home in Inishowen, Donegal, Ireland.


Sr. Mary Ann Dillon To Deliver Mount Aloysius Moral Choices Lecture

CRESSON, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College invites the general public to the next chapter in their 2013-2014 speaker series which is examining the theme, “21st Century Citizenship: The Common Good.”  The next scheduled event is the Eighth Annual Moral Choices Lecture.  The Moral Choices Lecture for Spring 2014 will be delivered by Sister Mary Ann Dillon, RSM, PhD, former president of Mount Aloysius College.   The title of her remarks is “Ethical Considerations of Citizenship in the 21st Century.”   She will deliver her address in historic Alumni Hall on Tuesday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m.


Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley reflected the excitement of the entire Mount Aloysius College community at welcoming Sister Dillon back to campus as one on of the featured speakers of the 2013-2014 academic year.  “Sister Mary Ann Dillon is both a theoretical and practical expert on the timely topic of Ethics,” he said.  “As a scholar she has advised and lectured on the subject.  Today, as a healthcare executive, she is directly responsible for clinical and organizational ethics at one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  We welcome her back to Mount Aloysius College where she served as President for 17 years, leaving her mark on such accomplishments as adding to the academic offerings of the college, introducing the first master plan–completed with our new Athletic  Convocation and Wellness Center– and so much more.  We are thrilled to have her join us our 2014 Spring Moral Choices lecturer.”   

Sr. Mary Ann currently serves as senior vice president of mission and sponsorship at Mercy Health System in southeastern Pennsylvania.  In addition to organizational ethics, she is responsible for clinical and organizational ethics education, programs and processes throughout the System as well as for development and implementation of formation programs for trustees, leadership team members and colleagues.

Sr. Dillon came to Mercy Health System in 2011 after a long career in higher education.   Before her tenure at Mount Aloysius College, she was dean of general education at Saint Francis University where she also served as assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies.  

Sr. Dillon is a member of the Boards of Trustees of Misericordia University, Salve Regina University, Gwynedd-Mercy College and the University of Detroit Mercy.  She is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the Graduate Program in Health Services Administration of Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. She has served on the Boards of Directors of Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Conemaugh Health System and Bon Secours-Holy Family Hospital.

Sr. Dillon was a provincial administrator for the Sisters of Mercy of Dallas, Pa., as well as a general administrative team member for the Sisters of Mercy of the Union in Potomac, MD.  She was also a founding member of the Conference for Mercy Higher Education and chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP). She is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Mercy Association of Scripture and Theology.

Sr. Dillon was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in English from Misericordia University, Dallas, Pa., a Master of Arts in theology from the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto and a doctorate in systematic theology from Duquesne University.  Her doctoral theses explored aspects of The Common Good in Catholic/Christian Tradition.

The Mount Aloysius College Moral Choices Lecture for Spring 2014 is open to the general public free of charge.


Artistic Textile Collaboration Marks Exhibit at Mount Aloysius College

CRESSON, Pa. – If the word “Sabbatical” conjures thoughts of dreamy afternoons of sweet nothing, think again. For Dr. Donald Talbot, associate professor of English, fine arts and visual arts program coordinator at Mount Aloysius College, “Sabbatical” meant an endless stream of 12 hour days toiling alone in an old repurposed church in Maine.  Talbot was intently focused on the joyous artful tedium of creating complex and striking textile art.  In actuality a labor of love.  His exhibit, “Based on Beverly: A Post-mortem Creative Collaboration,” is a visual and tactile treatise and homage to his valued mentor, the late Beverly J. Semmens, professor emeritus, University of Cincinnati, who died in August of 2010.


Dr. Talbot resides in Altoona and maintains a season studio (Atelier 9) in Lisbon Falls, Maine.  His artwork has been featured in Fiberarts Design, Book 6 and Book 7 and enjoyed in shows and galleries across the United States.   

In a sense Talbot’s show is autobiographical in that it reflects his personal and artistic journey that led him to artist, mentor and friend Beverly Semmens.  “I first met Beverly when I was accepted as a graduate student in her fibers program at the University of Cincinnati in 1997,” said Dr. Talbot.  “During my two years there she became one of the most important mentors of my life.  She taught me how to think and work as an artist.”

Talbot graduate from her program in 1999 but the student and mentor remained devoted friends.  “Before her death in 2010, Beverly entrusted me with a truly unique gift: her journals and sketchbooks dating back to 1954—almost 60 years of her creative explorations and personal life preserved in words and sketches.”

Talbot explained that, like himself, Beverly Semmens had degrees in both English and art.   “She was passionate about both.  She appreciated good art, but she loved a well-turned phrase more.  Her journal and sketch books reveal a complex and multi-talented women who was both very much of her time while, being very much ahead of it.”

Dr. Talbot explains that the exhibited work is based on sketches made by Beverly Semmens over the years and so is—in fact—post-mortem collaborative art.  “My goal was to use Beverly’s ideas as a starting point for my own work—not to slavishly replicate her ideas.  Consequently,” explained Dr. Talbot, “I learned more about how she thought and how she evolved as an artist by using her ideas to inform my work.  In particular, I learned about her sophisticated use of quiet symmetry, her rhythmical repetition of shapes and motifs, and her balanced interplay of geometric and organic shapes.”

After completing undergraduate and graduate degrees in humanities and English, Dr. Talbot taught secondary English for 16 years.  He returned to school to refocus on the visual arts and leadership studies.  A two-year degree in Professional Crafts from Haywood Community College in North Carolina led to graduate studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he explored in his doctoral dissertation, “leader vision and organizational storytelling as it impacts on an organization undergoing radical change.”

His 12 exhibited pieces include: Eclipse; Garden Party; Hide’n Seek; Secret Garden; Hank’s Dream; These Foolish Things; Decomono I; When October Goes; Modomo; Sacred Geometry I; Decomono II; Sacred Geometry II; and Sacred Geometry III.

Dr. Talbots work will be on display at the Wolf-Kuhn Gallery on the first floor of the iconic Main Building at Mount Aloysius College until March 28th.


Mount Aloysius Ecumenical Spring Lecture Features Latrobe Scholar

CRESSON, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College has announced their Ecumenical Lecture for Spring 2014.  The event will take place on Thursday, March 20th and will feature noted author, scholar and educator Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan, PhD.  Dr. Getty-Sullivan’s public lecture entitled, “The Passion of Paul” will take place in the historic Alumni Hall at 3:30 p.m.  Anyone wishing to register should call the College at (814) 886-6335 or go online at  The public lecture is free of charge.


Dr. Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan holds doctorates in both Religion and Philosophy.  She is the first woman to have received the honored STD/Doctorate of Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.  A well-known author and lecturer; her publications include, “Women in the New Testament,” “Parables of the Kingdom,” and a children’s series entitled, “God Speaks to Us.”

Former Chair of the Theology Department at Carlow College in Pittsburgh, Pa., Dr. Getty-Sullivan also a served as associate professor at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  After more than 40 years teaching theology in colleges, seminaries and universities, she recently retired from full-time teaching to allow for more time to write.

The Latrobe scholar has written more than 10 books on topics related to the Scriptures, including several commentaries on the Letters of Paul, on women in the New Testament, and children’s books on Bible stories.  She also authored "First and Second Corinthians" from the Collegeville Bible Commentary series and was the editor of the “Zacchaeus Studies: New Testament Series” published by The Liturgical Press.

Dr. Getty-Sullivan's career as a teacher, author, editor, lecturer, and in parish and retreat work has been devoted to teaching family-centered religion.  Her focus has been teaching adults how to help children make the Bible meaningful in their own lives.  She has given retreats and workshops to a variety of groups of lay people, religious women, priests and seminarians.  Dr. Getty-Sullivan has been married to Dan Sullivan for over 23 years. The couple has two grown children and five grandchildren.


Mount Aloysius Students Find New Orleans Still In Need

CRESSON, Pa. – Deep within the spirit of Christmas is the truth that the holiday celebrates giving.  The season offers a multitude of opportunities to give back to those among us who need it most.  Sponsored by the Mount Aloysius College Office of Campus Ministry, 23 students and three staff members spent a pre-Christmas week helping the still struggling residents of New Orleans, Louisiana restore their community.


The lasting devastation from Hurricane Katrina goes well beyond obvious property damage.  There are misplaced people, jobs once handled by workers who never came back to the city, animals abandoned that need care and still so much restoration needed for damaged buildings throughout the region.

President Tom Foley, who volunteered in Biloxi, M.S. immediately after Hurricane Katrina understands the lingering devastation that is still disrupting life throughout the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. “The scale of destruction was just unprecedented,” he said. “And the government response was slow, incomplete and cumbersome at that time.”

The Mount Aloysius College helpers landed in New Orleans in mid-December and were welcomed again at Camp Restore.   Camp Restore is a volunteer Christian mission in New Orleans, LA. The well-established destination operates with the goal of restoring faith, home, and community to still struggling New Orleans.  Camp Restore provides housing, food and equipment to volunteer groups like the Mountie helpers who rebuild houses, churches, and schools and work on a wide range of New Orleans community projects.  Mount Aloysius College and the sponsoring Sisters of Mercy have a long history of helping in the storm ravaged Gulf Coast.

Sister Helen Marie Burns, RSM, vice president of mission integration at Mount Aloysius sees the New Orleans experience as an essential component to the complete student experience at the College.  “This is our eighth visit to the Katrina ravaged Gulf Coast,” she said. “Our students come away with a real sense of accomplishment. The work allows them to gain a sense of their own power for good by helping create a better life for those in need of their skills and, finally,” added Sister Helen, “they gain real gratitude for the gifts that make up the fabric of their own lives.”

The roster of organizations in New Orleans which would be touched by Mount Aloysius students and staff included Rescue Ranch, an rural nonprofit ranch that cares for rescued horses; the Boys and Girls Club that needs help with young children in an after school program; Docville Farms, is involved in an extensive wetlands restoration project, the local ARC needs assistance with their ongoing garden and the local library in that part of the city is still reorganizing from Katrina’s impact.

Mount Aloysius College senior Bradley Mikitko of Hastings, Pa., saw the New Orleans service trip as a great learning experience for himself and fellow students.  “Each of the sites we visited during the week had unique challenges and opportunities for us to learn new skills and provide help to these non-profit organizations and various New Orleans communities.  Even though the time passed really quickly, we had a wonderful experience. The people we helped will remember the Mount Aloysius students,” he said, “and we’ll be sharing those memories too for years to come. These service trips are important and successful programs for students and staff members.”

Mount Aloysius students participating in this years’ service trip to New Orleans include: Adam Pernelli, Latrobe. Pa.;  Ajai-Tanea Timmons, Allentown, Pa.; Alexcia  Acosta, Boswell, Pa.; Ashley Skowronek, Saltsburg, Pa.; Austin Toth, Conemaugh, Pa.; Bradley M. Mikitko, Hastings, Pa. ; Brandi Levish,  Freeport, Pa. ; Brooke Descavish, Altoona, Pa.; Emily Edwards, Tyrone, Pa.; Hannah Hoffman, Bedford, Pa.; Jennifer J. Craig, Portage, Pa.; Kalyn Blake, Cherry Tree, Pa.; Kerri Wingard, Brockway, Pa.; Laura Trude, Winburne, Pa.; Mardiá Gibson, Lancaster, Pa.; Marissa Lombardi, Newry, Pa.; Marra Balmer, Hershey, Pa.; Megan Ruddock, Indiana, Pa.; Michelle Ubbens, Saylorsburg, Pa.; Montana Peightal, Tyrone, Pa.; Rachel Harris, Saint Marys, Pa.; Rebecca Collins, Lewistown, Pa.; and Sarah Geer, Brookville, Pa.

The students, with the help and support of the Mount Aloysius Campus Ministry department, spent months planning the trip and raising funds to cover expenses.  The group was joined by three Mount Aloysius College staff members:  Thomas Shireman, associate director of campus ministry; Elaine Grant, director of student activities and Brianna Baker, assistant director of athletics.

The Mount Aloysius College community service during the summer and fall of 2013 totals nearly 8,000 hours.  During that time various college groups completed 222 service projects throughout the southern Allegheny Mountain region as well as projects like the New Orleans service trip that touched people in other parts of the country and around the world in areas like Haiti and Guyana.  Mount Aloysius College service opportunities seek solutions to problems in such diverse areas as economic opportunity, education, environment, health and wellness, veterans and deployed personnel.  One hundred percent of Mount Aloysius College students perform community service as part of their educational experience.


Mount Aloysius Regionally Ranked by US News and World Reports

CRESSON, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College was notified today that it is ranked among the top 40 Best Regional Colleges in the North by US News and World Reports.  The list includes 84 colleges across New England—Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont—and also includes New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.   US News and World Reports focused on the 2011-2012 academic year experience to quantify their designations.

Mount Aloysius Vice President for Enrollment Management Frank Crouse noted that the college community is certainly gratified with the designation as one of the Top Colleges in the North. “The focus of Mount Aloysius College remains on continually developing value for current and prospective students,” he said. “We’re committed to offering students the individual attention and support they need to achieve status as a tech-ready, community-ready and job-ready contributor when they leave us.  That level of commitment,” Crouse added, “calls for consistent attention and real engagement aimed at meeting the needs of Mount Aloysius students.  This recognition from the US News and World Report tells us that we are indeed enhancing considerable value and offering a great college choice.”

US News and World Reports notes that colleges like Mount Aloysius College focus almost entirely on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts and in fields such as business, nursing and education.  Because most of the 367 colleges in the category draw heavily from nearby states, they are ranked by region. However, at Mount Aloysius the current freshman class hails from 18 states, five foreign countries and three continents. There are now over 2,500 students enrolled, with increasing numbers of students opting for masters programs in business, education, psychology, community counseling or the new autism-centered program in behavioral consulting.

Mount Aloysius offers both undergraduate and graduate education. Since the founding of the College, alumni number nearly 15,000 world-wide. The College is committed to providing small class sizes, and students benefit from accessible faculty and staff.  The Mount Aloysius faculty to student ratio, according to US News and World Reports is 13:1. 

Mount Aloysius College is a private and affordable Catholic liberal arts college sponsored by the Religious Sisters of Mercy-- one of 16 Mercy Colleges nationwide. Established in 1853, Mount Aloysius College welcomes people of all faith traditions.

At Mount Aloysius College, there are approximately 100 organized clubs, groups, honor societies, and an intramural sports program. Activities include a student newspaper, residence hall associations, student government, cheerleading, dance team, scholarship-funded theater and choir programs, and a student activities planning board. Mount Aloysius fun includes social events, intramural sports, athletic events, comedians, live music, theater, educational events, campus forums, and awesome guest lectures.

Mount Aloysius College is a member of NCAA Division III. Athletic programs number 14 and involve both women and men. Sports include basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, and tennis. Men’s baseball and women’s softball and volleyball are also offered.  Athletes benefit from the Ray S. and Louise S. Walker Athletic Field Complex, which include a softball field, one of the finest soccer fields in the area, the Calandra-Smith baseball complex and the Mountie Stables which house lockers, showers, storage, and concession facilities.

The Mount Aloysius Athletic Convocation and Wellness Center is nearing completion.  This 90,000 square-foot facility is located on the western edge of the beautiful 193-acre campus. This building is scheduled to open this fall taking Mount Aloysius athletics to a new level. The facility will also add a welcomed special events venue to the southern Allegheny Mountains.

Mount Aloysius is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. All nursing and health studies programs are also fully accredited by the appropriate agencies providing oversight for the many medical specialties offered.


Terry Wright, MAC Constitution Day Speaker To Discuss "Citizenship Extended"

The Mount Aloysius theme for the 2013-2014 academic year is “The Common Good—Citizens in the 21st Century.” 


Cresson, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College invites the community to celebrate Constitution Day on Tuesday, September 17, 2013.  Mr. Terry Wright, a longtime senior aide in the US Senate and a former aide to Vice President Joseph Biden will speak on, “The Common Good” in historic Alumni Hall.  The formal title of Mr. Wright’s address is, "Citizenship Extended—Public Service from The Nation to the Neighborhood."

On September 17, 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the final time in Philadelphia to lend their signatures of the document they helped create.  Befitting the occasion, the Mount Aloysius community is looking forward to hearing a veteran public servant with more than 30 years of local, state and national service to his credit.  Mr. Terry Wright of Wilmington, Delaware will speak to the Mount Aloysius theme for the 2013-2014 academic year — “The Common Good—Citizens in the 21st Century.” 

Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley has known Terry Wright for much of his career.  Foley served as a legislative aide and counsel to then-Senator Joseph R. Biden early in his own career in public service and remembers Wright as an exceptional addition to Biden’s staff.   “Terry Wright is a true public servant,” said President Foley. “He spent his entire career out of the political limelight; opting instead to apply his considerable talents behind the scenes in research, administrative rigor and liaison work.  He is a much trusted man of enormous principle and talent.  In his decision to retire,” Foley added, “he continues to give back to his community in many ways and remains active and very engaged.

“We are looking forward to his visit to our campus and imagine it will be a highlight of the fall semester.  Terry Wright will deliver a public address in Alumni Hall and we will keep him very busy, engaging with students.  He is scheduled for several meals featuring informal discussions throughout a two-day visit with us.”  

Foley noted that in the Senate, where many young staffer members stay for no more than a year or two, Mr. Wright stayed with Senator Biden for 27 years, encompassing a career that included virtually every aspect of Biden’s Senate tenure.  “Wright’s years in Washington immersed him in virtually every major public policy debate from the 1980s through the first decade of the 21st Century,” Foley said.

Foley noted that Mr. Terry Wright lives by a simple credo.  “Terry Wright believes that public service is part of the price we pay for living in a free society.  It’s optional, but if you don’t do it, who will?”

In 2004, at Senator’s Biden’s request, Wright moved back to Delaware where, in addition to all of his other responsibilities, he represented Senator Biden at a variety of community meetings around the state.  He made the decision to retire from the Senate after the successful 2008 election but continues to serve Vice President Biden, organizing his Senate Papers as they are turned over to the University of Delaware Library.

Wright was named by former Senator Ted Kaufman, Biden’s successor in the Senate, to Kaufman’s Service Academy Selection Committee, which interviews and nominates candidates seeking admission to The United States Military Academy at West Point; The United States Air Force Academy; The United States Naval Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy.  Upon Senator Kaufman’s retirement, Delaware Congressman John Carney appointed Terry to the same role on his Service Academy review Board.

In 2011, he was appointed to serve on New Castle County, Delaware’s County Council Redistricting Commission, redrawing the County Council’s district lines, bringing them in compliance with the principle of “one person, one vote” in light of the demographic changes reflected in the 2010 Census. Terry Wright was one of the principal architects of the Commission’s redistricting plan.  He shepherded the plan to unanimous and bipartisan approval from both the Redistricting Commission and the New Castle County Council.

And when a civic-minded friend with a passion for history and a love of his community passed away and left a portion of his estate for local civic purposes, Mr. Wright created a non-profit organization he named the Eastern Brandywine Hundred Coordinating Council – EB100 for short – to fund grants for local history and community planning in northern Delaware. He currently serves as EB100’s first Chairman.


Mount Aloysius College Announces Summer Scripture Institute 2013

CRESSON, Pa. – Mount Aloysius College announces the Summer Scripture Institute for 2013. This year’s event will focus on the “Acts of the Apostles – the Who and the How.”  Dates for the Mount Aloysius College Summer Scripture Institute for 2013 are, Tuesday, June 25th through Friday, June 28th.  Participants will enjoy stimulating discussions and in-depth presentations from scriptural experts Dr. Marie Noel Keller, RSM and Dr. Bonnie Bowman Thurston.  The Institute is designed for clergy, pastors and church leaders.

Marie Noel Keller, RSM is a member of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.  She serves as Executive Director of the Institute on Sacred Scripture at Misericordia University, Dallas, Pa.  Sister Keller earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Misericordia University and her Master of Arts degree in Theology from Manhattan College and Biblical Studies from the Catholic Theological Union.  She completed a Masters and Doctorate of Theology in New Testament and Early Christian Origins at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.

Sister Keller is a local coordinator of Mercy Association for the Mid-Atlantic Community..  She regularly conducts adult teaching seminars, scholarly trips abroad, leads discussions and conducts retreats on biblical topics throughout the United Sates.  Sister Keller is the author of several articles and her book, entitled “Pricilla and Aquila,” was recently published by Liturgical Press.

Dr. Bonnie Bowman Thurston taught at Bethany College, Wheeling Jesuit University and held the William F. Orr Chair in New Testament at the Pittsburg Theological Seminary.  She earned her bachelor’s degree at Bethany College and her Master of Arts degree and her doctorate at the University of Virginia. She completed post-doctoral work in New Testament Studies at Harvard University, Eberhard Karls University in Tuebingen, Germany and the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.  She was ordained in 1984 by the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.

Dr. Thurston wrote or edited 17 theological books and numerous scholarly articles.  Her interests include the Gospel of Mark, Paul’s later letters, and Christian spirituality.  A spiritual director and retreat speaker, she has written three books of poetry and is an expert on Thomas Merton.  Among her publications are: Women in the New Testament; Philippians; Religious Vows, The Sermon on the Mount, Christian Living; The Spiritual Landscape of Mark; For God Alone: A Primer of Prayer; and Belonging to Borders: A Sojourn in the Celtic Traditions.

On Tuesday, June 25th, registration is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.  An opening session will take place at 4:30 p.m., including a Welcome, Introductions and an Overview of the Institute.  The Evening prayer at 5:15 p.m. will precede dinner at 5:30 p.m.  The evening public presentation “Saint Luke, His Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles,” and “How Luke 1:4 and Acts 1:8 Drives the Book” are open to the public free of charge.

Wednesday, June 26th begins at 9:00 a.m. with a morning session entitled, “Overview of the Jerusalem Church’s Practice.”  That first session ends at 11:30 p.m.  The afternoon session begins at 1:00 p.m., entitled “Peter, Paul and Some Women in Acts.”  After the afternoon session there is free time scheduled prior to Evening Prayer at 5:15 p.m.  

Thursday, June 27th at 9:00 a.m., the morning session’s topic will be, “Peter, Paul and Some Women in Acts.”  This session concludes at 11:30 a.m.  The afternoon session begins at 1:00 p.m. and will be entitled, “The Jerusalem Church: Teaching and Table.”  That session concludes at 2:30 p.m.  There will be free time scheduled from 2:30 p.m. until Evening Prayer at 5:15 p.m.  An Evening Social begins at 7:00 p.m.

On Friday, June 28th, the session entitled, “Discernment in the Jerusalem Church,” will be offered at 9:00 a.m., concluding at 10:00 a.m.  “Peter, Paul and Some Women in Acts.” is again scheduled from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m.  The Closing Session, will take place at 11:00 a.m.  This session will include question-and-answer opportunities and discussion.

The Mount Aloysius College 2013 Summer Scripture Institute will end with a Closing Ritual and lunch with departure schedule for 1:00 p.m., Friday June 28th.

On-site accommodations are available for participants. Dining for the Institute begins with breakfast each day at 8:00 a.m. Lunch is served at Noon and dinner at 5:30 p.m. The registration fee for resident attendees is $300 and includes room and board for three nights. The commuter fee is $235 and includes conference materials and all meals for three days. 

Anyone wishing to participate, or needing additional information about the Mount Aloysius Summer Scripture Institute should contact Sr. Burns at (814)886-6510 or email her at Online registration is available at


Dan and Patricia Rooney Headline Mount Aloysius Commencement

CRESSON, Pa. – Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley has announced that Patricia R. Rooney will serve as the college’s Commencement Speaker for 2013. Mrs. Rooney is the wife of former Ambassador to Ireland, and Pittsburgh Steeler owner Dan Rooney. The 160th Commencement of Mount Aloysius will take place in the school’s Health and Physical Fitness Center on Saturday, May 11th at 10:00 a.m.

During the Mount Aloysius Commencement ceremonies, the College will confer four honorary degrees. Recipients include: Patricia R. and Dan Rooney, receiving Doctor of Social Justice degrees as a couple, honoris causa; MIT Professor Jim Walsh, Ph.D., receiving the doctor of Humane Letters degree honoris and Mrs. Shirley A. Pechter, of Altoona, receiving the Doctor of Social Justice degree, honoris causa.

Delivering the Invocation for Commencement will be Ms. April Tewksbury of Wyalusing, Pa., a cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, specializing in Health Care Administration. Ms. Tewksbury is a Mercy Presidential Scholar.

Offering a Welcome message to the Commencement gathering will be Ms. Jennifer Smith of Claysburg, Pa. Ms. Smith is a summa cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a specialization in Counseling.  She is a distinguished member of the Delta Epsilon Sigma Honor Society.

Student Speaker for the Mount Aloysius College 2013 Commencement is Ms. Jessica Seasoltz of Altoona, Pa. Ms. Seasoltz will graduate, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a specialization in Pre-Health Professional.  Ms. Seasoltz is a distinguished member of the Delta Epsilon Sigma Honor Society.

Mount Aloysius President Foley noted that the roster of honorary degree recipients reflects the need of the College to cite excellence across a spectrum of values.

“In each honorary degree recipient we acknowledge substantial contributions to our world,” he said. “In honoring Patricia and Dan Rooney, we cite principled leadership, service to community and country, philanthropy and their deep commitment to excellence and ethics in athletics.  Dr. Jim Walsh, an internationally acclaimed expert in terrorism, embraced the College’s yearlong theme of hospitality as our Moral Choices spring lecturer for 2013, successfully merging it with the intricacies of international diplomacy. And, for those who know Altoona’s own Shirley Pechter - her generosity and passion that drive her support of the arts, and her personal commitment to preventing teen suicide - understand the logic of her being our choice for this special honor.  The faculty, staff, our Board of Trustees and our graduates are all looking forward to having these four exceptional people be part of our 2013 Commencement.”

Patricia R. Rooney

Mrs. Patricia R. Rooney’s community interests are multi-faceted and focused on improving the quality of life in the Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania region.  She was instrumental in reviving the Women’s Auxiliary of the Salvation Army and was one of the early volunteers of Project Bundle-Up; a highly successful Salvation Army program aimed at providing warm winter clothing for needy children and the elderly. She recently completed service on the National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army and is a lifetime member of the Western
Pennsylvania Advisory Board.

In 2004, Mrs. Rooney created the Rooney International Visiting Scholars Program. This initiative was created to enhance the richness and diversity of teaching and scholarly activities at Robert Morris University (RMU) by inviting qualified individuals to serve as visiting faculty. Visiting scholars from around the globe give RMU students and faculty a wider perspective on their chosen areas of interests. The program also increases collaboration on shared teaching and research activity.

A civic leader with broad interests, Mrs. Rooney has served on the Board of Advisors of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the International Poetry Forum, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and The Rehabilitation Institute.  She serves on the steering committee to restore and sustain Allegheny Commons - Pittsburgh’s oldest park. She has been recognized for her civic commitment with the Carlow University Women of Spirit Award and the Salvation Army Catherine Booth Award, among others.

Patricia Rooney is the 2011 recipient of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania’s (AICUP) Robert P. Casey Medal for Commitment to Independent Higher Education. Named for the late Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey, who greatly strengthened need-based student-aid during his tenure, the medal is reserved for individuals or organizations that have shown an extraordinary commitment to the value of independent higher education.

Mrs. Rooney, earned both her bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, and is a former adjunct professor in the Communication Skills program at RMU. A native of Pittsburgh’s North Side, Mrs. Rooney is the wife of Daniel M. Rooney, former U.S. ambassador to Ireland and chairman emeritus of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Rooneys resided in Dublin during Mr. Rooney’s tenure as Ambassador and have now returned to Pittsburgh.  Mrs.  Rooney and her husband, Dan, have nine children: Art, Patricia, Kathleen (deceased), Rita, Dan, Mary Duffy, John, Jim and Joan and 18 grandchildren.

Daniel Milton Rooney

Dan Rooney was the United States Ambassador to Ireland from July 3, 2009 until he resigned in 2012. He is chairman emeritus of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, founded by his father Art Rooney, in the National Football League (NFL). Dan Rooney was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000 for his contributions to the game. He is credited with spearheading a requirement that NFL teams with head coach and general manager vacancies interview at least one minority candidate. This practice has become known as the "Rooney Rule."

During his tenure, Rooney implemented a philosophy and management style that emphasized open, practical and efficient management. The results have been spectacular. Since 1972, the Steelers have won 15 division championships, eight AFC Championships, and an NFL record six Super Bowl Championships. Rooney became the patriarch and controlling owner of the team in 1988, following the death of his father.

Rooney is also co-founder of the Ireland-related fundraising organization The Ireland Funds.

Rooney was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Kathleen McNulty and Pittsburgh Steelers' owner, Art Rooney. In the Steelers organization, Rooney has been involved in every aspect of the franchise since he was a young boy, often assisting his father at Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field. Like his wife, Patricia, he also grew up in
the North Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh and attended North Catholic High School where he excelled as the team's quarterback. He was also the coach for the St. Peter's Elementary School football team, which was quarterbacked by future CIA Director and lifelong friend, Michael Hayden.

By early 1969, Rooney was managing the day-to-day operations of the team and personally selected Coach Chuck Noll. He was appointed team president in 1975 and was officially given full operational control of the franchise by his father who remained Chairman and President Emeritus, as well as the public face of the franchise until his death in 1988.

In 2003, Rooney followed in his father's footsteps by ceding day-to-day operations of the franchise to the next generation of the family. Although still chairman and to many fans the public face of the team, his son, Art Rooney II, has now assumed full operational control of the Steelers.

As Ambassador to Ireland, Rooney was well-known as one of the founders of the American Ireland Fund, dedicated to building bridges of peace, culture, and charity in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Ambassador Rooney also funded the annual Rooney Prize for Irish Literature to highlight the work of Irish writers under the age of 40.  He has also been actively involved in charities in the U.S.

Among his community activities, Rooney was a board member for The United Way of America, The American Diabetes Association, The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  In February 2000, Rooney was recognized by the prestigious Maxwell Football Club in Philadelphia by presenting with the Francis "Reds" Bagnell Award for "contributions to the game of football."

Rooney joined his father in August of 2000 as only the second father-son tandem to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dr. Jim Walsh

Dr. Jim Walsh is an expert on international security and a Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program (SSP). He was the former executive director, Project on Managing the Atom/Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, 2002-2006; and former research fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

Dr. Walsh's research and writings focus on international security, and in particular, topics involving nuclear weapons and terrorism. Dr. Walsh has testified before the United States Senate on the issue of nuclear terrorism and on Iran’s nuclear program.  He is one of a handful of Americans who has traveled to both Iran and North Korea for talks with officials about nuclear issues. The British newspaper, The Independent, named Dr. Walsh and his co-authors as having offered one of the 10 best and original ideas of 2008.

His comments and analysis have appeared in the New York Times, the “New York Review of Books,” Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Times of London, the Financial
Times, Associated Press, Reuters, “Time Magazine,” US News and World Report, The Atlantic, The Economist, ABC news, CBS news, the Discovery Channel, MTV, and numerous other national and international media outlets.   He acts as terrorism consultant for the NBC affiliate in Boston (WHDH, Ch 7), served as Iraq War analyst for WGBH (PBS, Boston), and regularly appears on Fox, CNN, NPR, and the BBC (over 500 appearances since 2001).  His film credits include “Testament” (Paramount Pictures, 2004), “Meltdown” (FX channel, 2004), and “Fortress Australia” (Australia Broadcast Corporation, 2002).

Dr. Walsh’s recent publications include, “Egypt’s Nuclear Future: Proliferation or Restraint?” in Forecasting Proliferation, Stanford University Press, 2010 (forthcoming);  “Sanctions Can’t Be the Centerpiece,” in Room for Debate, New York Times, September 25, 2009; “How to Deal with Iran” and "A Solution for the US-Iran Nuclear Standoff" with Thomas Pickering and William Luers in the ”New York Review of Books” (2008, 2009);“Iran's Nuclear Program: Motivations, Consequences, and Options” in Terrorist Attacks and Nuclear Proliferation: Strategies for Overlapping Dangers (Academy of Political Science, 2007), and “Learning from Past Success: The NPT and the Future of Non-proliferation” for the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission chaired by Hans Blix (2006).

Dr. Walsh also served as editor for the book series, “Terrorism: Documents of International & Local Control” and his writings have appeared in several scholarly journals including “Political Science Quarterly,” “The Nonproliferation Review,” “ International Studies Review,” and “Contemporary Security Policy. “

Before coming to MIT, Dr. Walsh was executive director of the Managing the Atom Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a visiting scholar at the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  He has taught at both Harvard University and MIT.  Dr. Walsh received his doctoral degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jim Walsh, Ph.D., served at the Mount Aloysius College’s Moral Choices lecturer this spring. His lecture entitled, “My Five Dinners with Ahmadinejad: Hospitality in the Context of Foreign Policy” took place on March 12th in historic Alumni Hall.

Mrs. Shirley A. Pechter

Born in Altoona in 1920, Shirley A. Pechter has given generously of her time, money, and creativity to many local, regional and national organizations. She is especially commended by Mount Aloysius College for her ongoing contributions to the prevention of teen suicide. Mrs. Pechter lost a grandson to suicide. Both she and her daughter are the founders and remain active supporters of the JED Foundation and raise funds each year for suicide awareness.

Mrs. Pechter has served on the board of directors of the American Cancer Society and is the recipient of their pinnacle Award. She has been associated with the American Cancer Society since 1965 and has been active in their Relay-For-Life; Jail-A-Thon, Rubber Duckie Derby, Daffodil Days, ACS Auction and their golf tournament.

She previously served the Bon Secours Holy Family Hospital boards and those of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA), Altoona Symphony Orchestra and Home Nursing Agency.

 She also has served in every executive position on the board of Temple Beth Israel. In 1999, Mrs. Pechter was selected as the first female president in the Temple's 125-year history and only the fifth for a reform temple in the United States Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.

Shirley A. Pechter was honored by the YWCA of Altoona as one of its Women of the Year in the Community Service Volunteer category.

Pechter has served on the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art's Board of Trustees for over 15 years.

This year Mount Aloysius College will honor 412 graduates. The college will confer 200 Associates degree; 191 Bachelor’s degrees and 24 Masters degrees. Three graduates will be receiving two degrees.

Mount Aloysius College graduates this year represent the states of Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. 


Mount Aloysius College President Named To 2012 Irish Education 100

Cresson, PA - Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley has been named to The Irish Voice newspaper’s 2012 Irish Education 100. The recognition lists the top figures in education across North America who have Irish heritage. The prestigious 2012 Irish Education 100 Awards were presented recently at the New York City residence of Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny. President Foley, the 13th president of Mount Aloysius College, has been named to the Irish 100 in Education for the second consecutive year.  In addition to his native Irish heritage, President Foley worked directly for peace in Northern Ireland during the height of the partisan period known as The Troubles there.

As a law student, President Foley took a two-year leave of absence from Yale Law School to return to Belfast, volunteering full-time for the Nobel Prize winning Peace People. He wrote many of their seminal documents during the volatile period of the hunger strikes. Notable among these was their parliamentary submission on the need for change in the emergency laws that had long been used to govern Northern Ireland. He was also co-founder of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), the only non-partisan justice organization in Northern Ireland at the time. The CAJ is still in operation.

His illustrated monograph entitled, “Right and Responsibilities of Young People Under the Law” was widely acclaimed as the first effort to explain the workings of the legal system to young people who were increasingly subject to it. This monograph continued to be re-published by several youth organizations in Northern Ireland and was the subject of numerous radio and television stories.

Foley’s article entitled, “Public Security and Individual Freedom: The Dilemma of Northern Ireland,” published originally in the Yale Journal of World Public Order, was cited frequently in other journals and used in court cases. Foley also wrote an analysis of the failure of international human rights teams to address the situation in Northern Ireland, and on the importance of independent police review boards. 

Foley also spent five years in Washington, D.C. where he worked for Congressman James M. Shannon and then-Senator Joseph R. Biden. Much of his work focused on justice and economic development issues for Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The Mount Aloysius College President then spent seven years of his career working for Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey. He served in two cabinet-level posts for Governor Casey and was the youngest Secretary of Labor and Industry in the history of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Thomas P. Foley, J.D. is a summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College and received his juris doctorate from Yale University Law School. At Yale, he served as an editor of the Yale Journal of World Public Order, coach of the undergraduate debate team and was a member of the university’s championship rugby team, a sport he took up during his years in Ireland.

Foley grew up in a family of 12 children. His grandparents were natives of County Mayo, Ireland. President Foley and his wife, Michele, have three sons, Thomas, Matt and Andrew.

In addition to Mount Aloysius President Foley, other honorees from higher education, science, business, community organizations and government include: Kevin Cahill, M.D., director of Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs; Sr. Margaret Carney, 20th president of St. Bonaventure University, western New York; Dr. James P. Quigley, professor in the Cell Biology Department at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California; Dr. Michael K. O’Connor, professor of medical physics at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, N.Y.; John E. Murray, first lay president of Duquesne University, currently serves as chancellor and professor of law, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa.;  Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., 32nd president of Fordham University, New York, N.Y.; Rev. Brian Linnane, 24th president of Loyola University, Baltimore, MD; Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., 25th president of Boston College, Boston, Mass.; Dr. Mary Hines, ninth president of Carlow University, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, 17th president of Notre Dame University, South Bend, Ind. ; and Declan Kilberd, the Donald and Marilyn Keough Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind.


Mount Aloysius College Gives Free Semester to Prison Employees

Cresson, PA - Mount Aloysius announced today that the College will offer a tuition free semester to any displaced worker at SCI Cresson who feels that higher education might be a viable path to a more secure future. Mount Aloysius College has been a part of life in Cresson since 1853. The tuition break extends to undergraduate, graduate and continuing education courses at Mount Aloysius.

MAC President Tom Foley previously served as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor and Industry under Governor Bob Casey and knows first-hand the deep human cost to affected individuals and their families in such situations. “Our hearts go out to the men and women who may lose their jobs as a result of this transition, and to their families,” he said. “As we looked within and asked how we could help, this solution emerged as the right response at the right time. We are in a position to help here,” he said, “and we will.”

Foley added, “The extension of the educational resources of the College is consistent with our mission and is a direct application of Religious Sisters of Mercy’s core values of justice, hospitality, mercy and service. These are our neighbors,” he said, “and paving a path to a possible new start is one way we can help them when they need it.”

Administrators at the College are busy ironing out the logistics with the goal of minimizing red-tape. “Certainly applicants will need to file a formal application and choose a course of study,” said Dr. Timothy Fulop, vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty at Mount Aloysius. Dr. Fulop added, “The College will cover all tuition costs once admitted.”

The College is notifying representatives of SCI Cresson workers, including Commonwealth and organized labor representatives, legislators and social service agencies that may have contact with displaced workers about the Mount Aloysius educational opportunity. 

For additional information, callers can contact the Admissions Office at Mount Aloysius College at (814)886-6383 and to identify themselves as a displaced SCI Cresson employee.


Mount Courses Meet New Behavioral Specialist Licensing Mandates

Cresson, PA - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has required licensed behavioral health professionals to take 90 hours of additional training to continue practicing. The Mount Aloysius College Office of Graduate and Continuing Education is offering two courses designed to fulfill the state mandate. Both classes begin the second week of January, 2013.

Behavioral Specialist Training 1 consists of 45 contact-hours emphasizing autism spectrum disorders, instructional strategies and best practices, professional ethics and crisis intervention. Autism, high functioning autism, Asperger’s disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders will also be reviewed.  Further emphasis will be placed on understanding the etiological aspects of autism.  Understanding autism among infants, preschoolers, children, and adolescents will be explored.  Additional coursework will include understanding treatments and interventions that can be used within the classroom to address communication, behavioral, and academic issues. This class starts Monday, January 14th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Behavioral training Specialist II will start January 16th. Classes will be held Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Also including 45 contact-hours of work; emphasis will be on assessment, family collaboration, co-morbidity and medications, and skills deficits. Students will participate in lectures and skill development activities.

The two courses are designed to meet the 90 hours of required training needed for Behavioral Specialists to continue practicing.  Students taking these graduate courses will be eligible for certification in conducting functional behavioral assessments thru the Bureau of Autism Services.  To register, contact the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education at (814)886-6406 or


Mount Aloysius College Honored for Distinctive Educational Excellence

Cresson, PA - Mount Aloysius College is one again featured on, a website dedicated to honoring schools nationwide for excellence in student-focused higher education.

“Schools designated as “Colleges of Distinction” create well-rounded graduates and are among the very best in the country,” said Tyson Schritter, executive editor of Colleges of Distinction.

Colleges and universities are nominated for participation in Colleges of Distinction through high school counselors’ recommendations as well as quantitative research.

Once nominated, the colleges like Mount Aloysius are assessed using the Four Distinctions: student engagement, quality of teaching, vibrancy of the college community and success of graduates. Schools featured on must meet minimum standards in each category.

Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley praised the total effort that allows the College to advance. “Certainly we view this award with pride,” he said. “And we know too that behind these accolades are so many basic needs that are met each day. Seeing to those fundamentals allows the campus to excel.  I have to commend the security team that keeps the campus safe; the caretakers that manicure 193-acres of beauty and the maintenance team that keeps our infrastructure functioning. All of us recognize the comprehensive efforts that allow excellence to flower. Everyone today can be Mountie Proud.” 

Mount Aloysius College was found to excel in all four distinctions and will receive a personal profile on the Colleges of Distinction website.

Dr. Timothy Fulop, academic vice president and dean of faculty noted that the College of Distinction award reflects a multi-faceted approach to teaching and creating a challenging yet supportive learning environment. “Excellence is not a destination,” he said, “but a series of processes that place the student at the center. Everyone contributing to those processes can be proud of this prestigious award.”  

Dr. Jane Grassadonia, vice president of student affairs said that planning and executing a series of cultural events for a diverse and growing student population is a challenge that reaps constant rewards. “Keeping students successfully engaged in campus life involves listening and respecting diverse interests,” said Dr. Grassadonia. “It is a fast-paced team effort that starts with understanding the students we are serving then constantly asking ourselves how we can serve them best. We pride ourselves on listening,” she said. offers dynamic college profiles and easy-to-use search tools for students, parents, and counselors. The website includes tips from high school guidance counselors, essays from college students, presidents and other members of campus communities.

“While each school is one of a kind, they all share a common theme: they are all a great place to get an education,” Schritter said.

To view Mount Aloysius College’s profile or to find more information about the online guide visit


Mount Aloysius College Ranked Military Friendly

Cresson, PA - Mount Aloysius College has been notified that for the fourth consecutive year it has been named a Military Friendly College. The designation puts it among the top 15 percent of over 12,000 colleges nationally surveyed by G.I. Jobs Magazine.

The designation as a Military Friendly College means that Mount Aloysius has demonstrated a strong interest in recruiting and retaining U.S. service veterans and military students. Further, MAC continues to streamline access to its academic offerings for more than eight million service vets and active military. The school’s policies, goals and efforts aimed at serving this group of students was studied and used as weighted criteria in the selection process.

Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley noted that serving this special population of men and women is close to the heart of everyone affiliated with MAC. “Mount Aloysius is committed to serving students coming from families of modest means, including first-generation college students and students pursuing higher education during or after military service,” he said. “We maintain affordability through stringent stewardship, allowing more students to have access to quality education. Coming from our roots as one of only 16 colleges and universities across the country affiliated with the Religious Sisters of Mercy, we incorporate their core values of service, hospitality, mercy and justice into all that we do. This designation as Military Friendly reflects that commitment,” he said. “We are honored to serve these men and women who give so much to all of us.”

Established in 1853, Mount Aloysius is a comprehensive, liberal arts and science –based institution with a commitment to career-directed study. Rooted in the Catholic tradition, MAC has almost 175 faculty members, allowing a 14:1 student/faculty ratio. MAC offers more than 70 academic programs on the undergraduate and graduate levels in Health Sciences and Nursing, Humanities, Education, Social Sciences, Natural and Applied Sciences, Business Administration and Pre-Professional studies. Students may choose from more than 20 concentrations and minors. MAC also offers over 100 activities, clubs, intramurals, service opportunities and 13 NCAA sports.

Mount Aloysius College is located in the scenic Southern Allegheny Mountains of west-central Pennsylvania, in the town of Cresson. Convenient and accessible from U.S. Route 22, the College’s setting is rural but mere minutes from State College, Altoona, and Johnstown, Pennsylvania. To learn more about MAC contact the College at (814) 886-6383 or visit their web site at